Why Weekly Meal Planning is a Necessity + FREE Printable

Why weekly meal planning is the smartest, most efficient, cost saving thing you can do for yourself and the easiest, most practical, and cutest ways to do it! All right here on tiptoeandtidy.com

Maybe I’m weird… Actually, I know I’m weird. But I actually enjoy going grocery shopping.

It might have something to do with the fact that my boyfriend and I always go together. I’m sure that if I had to tackle our entire grocery list on my own that it might be less fun… It also might have something to do with the fact that we REFUSE to go during peak grocery shopping hours. Crowds are not our friends.

We have it down to a strategy. But what else could you expect from me? I’m a planner.

And yet again, this is another one of those things in life that I’ve realized benefits so so much from my crazy obsessive organization. Grocery shopping and meal planning. Yes, I usually plan our meals out for at least 8 days at a time.

Call me crazy? Or call me smart?

Most people that plan meals are doing it so that they can keep track of their fitness and wellness. I do it because… Well, it just makes life easier. And I’m all about it.

Let’s discuss why you should meal plan.

1. No last minute decisions or desperate takeout.

2. No more last minute grocery trips.

3. Less stress.

No last minute decisions? Count me in.

I’m a HORRIBLE decision maker. I hate it. I don’t like being responsible for on the spot decisions and will avoid it all costs. This is where planning out meals comes in handy. By planning out a week or two of meals at a time, there’s no need for last minute decisions on what to have for dinner at 5pm.

I’ve also noticed that by planning out our meals we eat out WAY less. Simply because it cuts all the guessing games out of it. You won’t find yourself getting frustrated looking through the refrigerator for food, or giving up and just ordering takeout.

Grocery shopping is fun for me… But running to the grocery store for a veggie to go with dinner? Not so much.

I’ve already mentioned that I actually enjoy grocery shopping. But what I don’t enjoy is having to run the grocery store during the day because we don’t have a veggie to go with dinner. Or we don’t have anymore chicken. Or we’ve run out of rice.

Meal planning for a week or two ensures that we have exactly what we need for ALL of those meals. And by actually sticking to the plan, it ensures that we never have to make any random trips to the store to grab something that we’ve run out of.

Less stress, less mess (rhyming just makes everything sound better, right?)

Ya… Nobody likes being stressed. Especially about food. PLANNING IS KEY… in everything really. But for meals it is absolutely a necessity in my life. It just makes dinner time much more relaxing and enjoyable.

Now, I typically only plan out meals for dinnertime. I WISH I could plan out my breakfast and lunch meals as well. I think that would take my planning to a whole new level and I would feel amazing about it.

But that just doesn’t work for my family. My boyfriend and I are on opposite schedules multiple times a week, and he prefers a feast compared to my tiny breakfast. So I really don’t worry too much about breakfast and lunch. Instead, I plan out dinners for us. And when it comes to the other meals, I get us the same general types of food and let each of us do our thing and mix and match.

But seriously, if your family’s schedule allows for it then plan out all 3 meals for the day!

There are a few different systems that you can use to stay organized with meal planning.

1. In my kitchen I have a cute little chalkboard calendar hung on the wall. It has space for the entire monthly calendar lined out on 3/4 of the board and then on the right side there is a rather large blank area for notes. This blank space is what I utilize to write out the dinners for our weekly plan.

2. You can also use a small, magnetic dry-erase board on your refrigerator. I’ve seen this done so many times. Many people seem to love this organizational planning method because it can be changed so easily and it’s small enough to stick on the side of the fridge.

3. Perhaps the simplest method, and the method that I will go back to if my chalkboard comes down, is to utilize organizational printables. These typically have a grid with spaces for the date and the meal. They are also great because you can plan out multiple weeks at a time on different papers and keep yourself organized for longer than a chalkboard or dry-erase will allow. Now, you can create these for yourself to make them ideal for your own family’s needs… but who has time for that?

To help you out I’ve created not only 1, but 2 FREE PRINTABLE meal planners.

I’ve looked all over Pinterest for meal planning printables multiple times, and I’ve never found one that I actually like. I don’t like my meal planners to have bright colors or designs simply because they’re being hung on my refrigerator and I’m very obsessive about unnecessary visual clutter. And to me, bright designs and colors = visual clutter.

So! I’ve created my IDEAL meal planning organization printable. Actually, I’ve created two.

The first printable is the one that I find most functional. It only has one column in it to plan out dinner meals only.

The second printable is for all you overachievers out there (you go) who want to plan out breakfast, lunch, and dinner (ugh, the dream).

So, go ahead and download whichever one works best for you!

If you already meal plan, let me know which system you currently use. If you decide to switch it up and use my printables or one of my other suggestions, let me know how you like them compared to any other system you’ve used previously. If you’re new to meal planning, let me know if you decide to attempt any of these!

I’d also appreciate it if you would share this post on Pinterest if you liked it!

And don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest.

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